Thursday, April 16, 2009

Practical Catholics, Non-Catholics and Anti-Catholics and wolves.

A left-wing group, calling themselves Catholics United, are running spots in major markets on Christian radio. Though they claim to be a non-partisan group, supporting the Catholic Social doctrine, they are anything but.

Catholics United is a front group for the radical, secularist left. They exclusively support left-wing, pro-abortion, pro-homosexual, pro-socialist Democrats.

This group is, in no way, affiliated with the Catholic Church and forwards a message that is counter to what the Church actually teaches.

As yet another example of wolves in sheep's clothing, this group has motivated me that perhaps now is the time to specifically define the different groups, about which I will often discuss on this blog, and how they relate to what is and is not Catholicism.

First, let's start with a definition and exposition of the term Catholic.

It can be traced back to at least 110 AD (less than 80 years from Christ's death), and a statement by Ignatious of Antioch, that "where Christ is, there is His Catholic Church".

This statement (which precedes the Bible by about 2-3/4 centuries) not only codifies the use of the term Catholic, but the claim that it represents- that Christ is found in, and acts through, the one Catholic Church.

No other Christian apology can come within 200 years of being traced back this far and very few that survive today, can come closer than 1400-1500 years of such a point. That is a historical fact that cannot be credibly disputed.

The word Catholic means Universal and it is a Biblical necessity for the mission of Christ's church that it be preached universally- that is, everywhere-

Matthew 24:14
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the world as a witness to all nations, and then the end will come.

So, in it's broadest definition, all baptized Christians are members- admit it or not- of the Catholic Church. It is the belief of the Catholic church that the other Christian churches actually do not even truly exist, in God's eyes, but it's members are, in fact, Catholics who are not in full communion with the Catholic (universal) Church.

Understanding this is essential to understand the Catholic doctrine of Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus (Outside the church, there is no salvation). It is certainly true that Catholics- myself included- believe that Jesus created only one Church, that that Church He created with authority, power and the infallible protection of the Holy Spirit, is the Roman Catholic Church, headed by the Pope and the Vatican. However, we do not believe that the very possibility of salvation is restricted only to people who have, as a matter of knowledge, come into a full and complete communion with the Catholic Church.

We do believe that those who do know, or through their own efforts could know, the full truths of Catholicism, will be held accountable for that knowledge. This revealed truth can be found in the parable of the talents;

Matthew 25

14"Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. 15To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. 17So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. 18But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money.
19"After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. 'Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.'
21"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'
22"The man with the two talents also came. 'Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.'
23"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'
24"Then the man who had received the one talent came. 'Master,' he said, 'I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.'
26"His master replied, 'You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.
28" 'Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. 29For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 30And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'

This citation clearly establishes that Salvation is a process and that we are required to actually produce something (thus refuting the doctrine of Sola Scriptura). Further, it refutes the nonsensical argument that each person will be measured against the same standard of absolute perfection. This is one of many of the purely unscriptural claims of many protestants.

Each person will be measured by his own ability. It is no coincidence that the term 'talent', once used as a weight or coin, is now used to describe ability.

What many fundamentalists don't understand is that for God to require more from you, or less, than your ability-or your potential- provides for, would be a violation of His perfect justice.

Therefore, there is a very clear distinction between the judgement of those who fail to meet a standard because they are unaware of the standard (through invincible ignorance) and those who fail to meet it by willfull disobedience. Therefore, the person who has only 1 talent is not held to the standard as the man who has 10.

This again, refutes Sola Fide because of the expectation of results. There cannot be an expectation of a result without a consequence for not meeting that result. As you can see, the consequence is clear;

28" 'Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. 29For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 30And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'

A person who does not know this truth, and could not be reasonably expected to be able to know it, could still be saved in theory, provided that, motivated by virtue, he still seeks to please God to the extent of His ability.

On the other hand, let me warn you that whoever reads this passage and can know this (or any other truth of faith) as truth, but out of stubborness refuses to accept that truth, and holds fast to the lie, is accountable to it.

This distinction sharply seperates the non-Catholic from the anti-Catholic.

The Catholic (10 talents) who is capable of being in full communion has the greatest opportunity for Salvation of any person on earth because He has the greatest graces available to him. On the other hand, because he has the greatest understanding, he has the greatest opportunity for disobedience and, thus, among believers, the greatest danger to be damned, if he chooses to reject God's mercy.

The non-Catholic (5 talents) is he, who through his best efforts to know and serve God, falls short of full communion. Did his efforts match his potential. Did he learn all he reasonably could and did he live in obedience to God, to the extent his ability allowed?

The non-Christian (1 talent).

Of course, our fundamentalist friends tell us that the non-Christian cannot be saved nowhere, no way, no how. Not so fast. How were Abraham, Issac and Jacob saved? We can read in the New Testament that they were already in heaven when Jesus walked the earth.

Matthew 22:32 'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'? He is not the God of the dead but of the living."

None of the three had the earthly opportunity to fully come to the knowledge of, and acceptance of Jesus Christ. They knew and understood God only to the extent that He had been revealed to them. Therefore, they were only judged according to that standard.

This again, refutes the silly notion that only by a verbal assent of faith in Jesus is it even possible for anyone to be saved. Certainly, this is the standard for anyone who knows who Jesus is or, through their own efforts, could know.

So, a dying baby can't be saved?

This kind of pharaseical nonsense nulifies the mercy of God. For the mercy and justice of God demands that a person who has never had the opportunity to know God but lives the best life he can according to the law within him, has to be considered- at least theoretically- within the realm of possibility of salvation.

Protestants will argue that only by faith in Christ can one live a life pleasing to God. Once again. they are mistaken.


10:25 * There was a scholar of the law* who stood up to test him and said, "Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"10:26 Jesus said to him, "What is written in the law? How do you read it?"10:27 He said in reply, "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself."10:28 He replied to him, "You have answered correctly; do this and you will live."

The Parable of the Good Samaritan.10:29 But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"10:30 Jesus replied, "A man fell victim to robbers as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho. They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead.10:31 * A priest happened to be going down that road, but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.10:32 Likewise a Levite came to the place, and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.10:33 But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him was moved with compassion at the sight.10:34 He approached the victim, poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them. Then he lifted him up on his own animal, took him to an inn and cared for him.10:35 The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction, 'Take care of him. If you spend more than what I have given you, I shall repay you on my way back.'10:36 Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers' victim?"10:37 He answered, "The one who treated him with mercy." Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."

When I read scriptures such as this, I am stunned and amazed by those with the temerity to say that Salvation requires nothing from us. Many of our protestant brothers insist that the righteous man who does not know Jesus is guaranteed to be damned while the unrighteous who do know him are saved.

As you can see here, in these scriptures, the exact reverse is the case.

The righteous will attain eternal life while the unrighteous will be damned.

Matthew 13:49 Thus it will be at the end of the age. The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous

To truly bring this home, let's look at just what a Samaritan was.

I gleaned this from a protestant Bible history website;

Because of their defective devotion to Judaism and their partly pagan ancestry, the Samaritans were despised by ordinary Jews. Because the Samaritans were sometimes hostile, and also the fact that a Jew believed that he could become contaminated by passing through Samaritan territory, Jews who were traveling from Judea to Galilee or vice versa would cross over the Jordan river and avoid Samaria by going through Transjordan, and cross back over the river again once they had reached their destination.

How, then, could these reviled and despised unbelievers ever hope to be saved? Jesus, Himself, tells us that it is possible. Possible does not mean likely. It only means that we cannot afford to exclude anyone from the economy of salvation who is living the best life they can.

Romans 9:15 For he says to Moses: "I will show mercy to whom I will, I will take pity on whom I will."

But some will quote

ACTS 4:12 There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved."

Yet, all that is is a reitteration of the above quote. Salvation is the exclusive right of God. Nobody else can save you. Jesus Christ is the only person who can do it.

Many Protestants affirm this truth on the one hand but deny it on the other. For, in assenting to Christ as the sole provider of your salvation, they deny the very means by which He said He would provide it in Matthew 19 & 25, Luke 10 and a hundred other places!

How about Paul's letter to the Romans, which fundamentalists cite as refuting the necessity of works?

Romans 2

2:5 By your stubbornness and impenitent heart, you are storing up wrath for yourself for the day of wrath and revelation of the just judgment of God,2:6 who will repay everyone according to his works:* 2:7 eternal life to those who seek glory, honor, and immortality through perseverance in good works,2:8 but wrath and fury to those who selfishly disobey the truth and obey wickedness.

You will be judged by what you do! NOT just by what you SAY.

Why the 1 talent for one person, 5 for another, 10 for another?

Simply put, if all other factors are equal, the person with 10 talents is 10 times as likely to reach heaven. He is twice as likely to reach heaven as the man with 5.

All things being equal that is.

Neverthelss, Judas was a hand picked disciple of Jesus and Mary Magdalene a former 7 demon possessed harlot. Yet Judas is in hell and Mary is in heaven because of who they ended up choosing to follow with their deeds, not merely their words.

Even as he betrayed Jesus, Judas kissed him and said "hail, Rabbi". Jesus wasn't fooled.

Again, I am certainly not arguing that it is likely that a non-Christian can be saved, only that God's mercy and Justice demands we allow for it to be possible.

The Anti-Catholic/Anti-Christian (0 talents)

A person with such a vexed hatred of Catholicism, or the larger faith of Christianity, that it will cause him to lie- about the scriptures, history, truths of religion etc...- is a person who cannot be saved unless he repents. Such a one is not unable to see the truth but un-willing. He will die in his willful blindness and be condemned to hell.

The reason is because he has given himself over to his hatred and violated the second greatest commandment to love thy neighbor.

It is one thing to misunderstand. It is another to disagree. It is something altogether different to revile and hate. Misunderstandings and disagreements may be overcome by dialogue. Hate cannot be overcome unless the person who practices it relinquishes it.

Anti-Catholics and Anti-Christians routinely bear false witness by making claims that they either know are false or make no effort to substantiate because of fear they will be proven untrue and can't be used as ammunition.

Of course, Such a lack of charity springs from a deceitful and arrogant pride that is in direct contradiction to the command "Love thy neighbor". He commits a deliberate act of malice against his neighbor and is guilty of the sin of Calumny. He is guilty of the eggregious sin of hypocrisy as well as of being a liar. However, it is worse than that. The person who is a liar and a hater of Christianity and Catholicism is often guilty of the sin of Scandal as well, for he often tries to win converts to his hatred.

Unfortunatly, such hatemongers existed in Jesus time as well;

Matthew 23:15 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You traverse sea and land to make one convert, and when that happens you make him a child of Gehenna twice as much as yourselves.

Calumny (the malicious damage of one's reputation), Scandal, hypocrisy, and false witness are very grave sins that cannot be justified by your disagreement with another faith.

If I witness, in love, to the incorrectness of the doctrines believed by the Mormon faith, I am trying to convert (help) someone. However, if I bear false witness and or/visciously attack a person, I am trying to harm them.

Smears against the Catholic Church in particular, and the Christian Churc in general, are rooted in a hatred for Jesus, even if they are masqueraded as religion.

Matthew 27:39 Those passing by reviled him, shaking their heads.

Mark 15:29 Those passing by reviled him, shaking their heads and saying, "Aha! You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days,

Luke 22:65 And they reviled him in saying many other things against him.

Luke 23:39 Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, "Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us."

When considering the tactics of some people who devote entire websites and books to smaearing the Catholic church,

Results 1 - 10 of about 156,000 for catholic church is the antichrist.

Ask yourself this simple question. What would Jesus do? To those who say that they honestly believe that the Catholic Church is the anti-Christ, you are exactly who I am talking about. With very little effort, you could match what the Bible says about the Anti-Christ with the Catholic Church.

1) Anti-Christ existed in John's day (1 John 2:18)

2) Anti-Christ denies Christ as the Messiah and He denies the Father. (1 John 2:22)

3) Denies Christ's humanity (2 John 1:7)

As you can see, based on these verses, the Catholic Church could not possibly be the anti-Christ for she fits none of these criteria! A determination to fit antichrist to catholicism demands a misrepresentation of scripture or of catholic doctrine or both. Creating a web site or book to promote such nonsense is an act of calumny and scandal and, therefore, un-Christian, to say the least.

Non- Catholic Christians are not exempt from such abuse. They are routinely lumped in with radicals such as clinic bombers, arians and skin heads, anti-semites, mysogynists and all other manner of hate and defamation.

Again, the people who level these charges do not do so as an attempt to further serious dialogue but to cause pain and damage. It is a form of violence.

Those who are attacked can rejoice.

Matthew 10:25 It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, for the slave that he become like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more those of his household!

Matthew 5:11 Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you (falsely) because of me.

Matthew 5:44 But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you,

If they didn't attack you, you would have cause to worry.

John 15:18 "If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first.
John 15:19 If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you.

Which brings us to possibly the most insidious of all....
The wolf in sheep's clothing.

Masquerading as Catholics and/or other Christians, these are secular humanists, fascists, communists and atheists who have infiltrated our churches to do the world's bidding in our name.

If your church promotes the gay lifestyle, abortion or euthanasia. If it supports communism, socialism or earth worship, it is not a Christian church.

This is why, the Church must have an authority and why we Catholics do have one. Afterall, even the devil can quote scripture.

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